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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Follicular fluid content and oocyte quality: from single biochemical markers to metabolomics

Alberto Revelli1*, Luisa Delle Piane1, Simona Casano1, Emanuela Molinari1, Marco Massobrio1 and Paolo Rinaudo2

Author Affiliations

1 Reproductive Medicine and IVF Unit, Department of Obstetrical and Gynecological Sciences, University of Torino, Via Ventimiglia 3, 10126 Torino, Italy

2 Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, USA

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Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 2009, 7:40  doi:10.1186/1477-7827-7-40

Published: 4 May 2009

Abstract

The assessment of oocyte quality in human in vitro fertilization (IVF) is getting increasing attention from embryologists. Oocyte selection and the identification of the best oocytes, in fact, would help to limit embryo overproduction and to improve the results of oocyte cryostorage programs. Follicular fluid (FF) is easily available during oocyte pick-up and theorically represents an optimal source on non-invasive biochemical predictors of oocyte quality. Unfortunately, however, the studies aiming to find a good molecular predictor of oocyte quality in FF were not able to identify substances that could be used as reliable markers of oocyte competence to fertilization, embryo development and pregnancy. In the last years, a well definite trend toward passing from the research of single molecular markers to more complex techniques that study all metabolites of FF has been observed. The metabolomic approach is a powerful tool to study biochemical predictors of oocyte quality in FF, but its application in this area is still at the beginning. This review provides an overview of the current knowledge about the biochemical predictors of oocyte quality in FF, describing both the results coming from studies on single biochemical markers and those deriving from the most recent studies of metabolomics